I’m not a proponent of the Paleo diet — I don’t agree with many of its central tenets and adhering to it would be far too much of a change for me, not to mention a huge challenge to fit into my travelling lifestyle (read: I’m lazy). So why did I agree to review a book called Eating out and traveling on the Paleo diet? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about eating healthily recently, and it’s difficult to find recipe ideas for preparing delicious real food while travelling. Also, I hoped to learn more about the Paleo diet and why people choose it.
Eating out and traveling on the Paleo diet by Aglaée Jacobs definitely gave me what I wanted from it: there are heaps of meal ideas that can be used while travelling, organised according to kitchen facilities: none, just a microwave, or full facilities. And any book that suggests chocolate-dipped bacon has to have something going for it, right? I was particularly pleased to find the solution to a problem I’d been pondering for some time: what to serve guacamole on to a friend who doesn’t eat grain (the answer: eggplant chips, complete with recipe).
The introduction of the book outlines not only the Paleo diet, but also other, similar diets — I like the look of one which allows grains and legumes (and I’m really into lentils at the moment). Links are provided to useful websites so readers can make informed choices about what to include or exclude in their personalised diet — and further personalisation is suggested later in the introduction, when the author discusses the 80/20 rule. In other words, it’s perfectly fine to follow the diet 80% of the time, and eat off-diet the rest of the time. This was a revelation for me — I thought most people following this kind of diet were 100% committed, and it’s kind of nice to know that flexibility is allowed.
Of course, no flexibility is permitted in the case of an allergy, and the book deals with this issue as well, giving tips about what questions to ask and how to avoid the foods you just can’t eat. The author also suggests types of restaurants that are likely to be better for avoiding certain food types, which would be very useful if you’re scared of eating out.
One thing I thought was definitely worth a read was the section on how to explain your style of eating to friends and family. I certainly find it hard to explain why I’m saying “no” sometimes, and I’m not even on a diet!
Length: 65 pages, A4
More info: Author’s website.
The only fault I found with Eating out and traveling on the Paleo diet wasn’t to do with the food tips, but rather with formatting and editing. I noticed several typos and odd word choice errors throughout the book, and I found the change in font (both typeface and size) a bit distracting: the contrast was too jarring for me. However, if you’re reading for information and aren’t as picky as me, you shouldn’t find too much of a problem. And having said that, there was a lot about the layout that I did enjoy: the photos, for example, and the annex of lists and worksheets at the back of the book.
If you have a food allergy, or are on the Paleo diet (or a similar one), and want ideas and encouragement about eating out and eating on the road, this book could be a great resource for you. And if you think that you can’t travel because of your diet or allergies, you should definitely get this book — you’ll see that it’s certainly possible!